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Fallen Son (The Fallen Men #3.5)
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I had my Lou, my family, and a group’a men more loyal than any other.
*A Fallen Men Christmas Story. These events take place between Welcome to the Dark Side and Good Gone Bad.*
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Shoulda known when I married ’er that no store-bought tree would do for my girl. She’d been pearls and lace, class and sophisti-fuckin’-cation ’fore I got ’round to claimin’ ’er and some’a that still found its way into our lives. Wasn’t goin’ to do it, not till Loulou Garro, love of my fuckin’ life so help me God, batted those long ass lashes at me over those bluer than the Pacific Ocean eyes and taunted, “Too old for the task, Daddy?”
We were at the garage, Bat workin’ on a custom bike in the corner, King shootin’ the shit with Nova on a bench while they watched the new prospect, Ransom, fiddle with some shit he didn’t know what the fuck to do with, and still, I could barely bank the urge to take Lou over my lap as punishment for her endless lip.
“Don’t make me come over there an’ show everyone just how much you like your Daddy, Lou,” I growled just to watch her chin tip in deviance and her eyes kindle with heat.
My girl liked to fight me, but in the end, she loved the consequences of her rebellions just as much as she liked the occasional win.
She was shit hot and near twenty years younger ’an me. Had to keep ’er on ’er toes.
“If you come over here, Z, it better be to get in the truck and take me out to get the biggest tree on the fucking lot,” she countered, crossing her arms under her tits, plumpin’ them up in the low-cut cream sweater dress she wore.
The fuckin’ tease.
“You want a real tree, you don’t get it from a fuckin’ store, girl. You man up, grab an axe, and chop one down proper in the fuckin’ forest.”
Her eyes sparkled even in the low light of the garage, high on our banter. “Old man thinks he can axe down a Canadian fir? Oh yeah, I’d like to see you try.”
I dropped the wrench I’d been holdin’ and cracked my knuckles. “My girl wants a proper Christmas tree, I’ll get her a fuckin’ proper tree.”
“I’d say I’m all in to chop down a huge ass tree, but I’m thinkin’ with the two’a you, it’ll be more bangin’ than choppin’,” Nova said through his dark chuckle.
“Dad,” King called through the rest of the brothers’ laughter. “Seriously, been home from college a few months now, and I’m startin’ to think all you ever do is flirt with your woman.”
I snorted as I rounded an old Corvette and stalked towards Lou, her lips pressed tight against the force of hidin’ her smile. “’S called multi-takin’, son, you stick ’round long enough, and you’ll learn my ways.”
“Now he’s biker fuckin’ Yoda,” King muttered, but I was too busy swooping down to catch my wife’s lips with mine to talk back to my snot-nosed eldest kid.
Unbeknownst to him, his two youngest siblings were tucked up safe in Lou’s belly. Couldn’t resist pressing my hand there, nearly the entire width of her slim waist, just to give ’em some love.
“Z,” she hissed against my lips, but there was laughter in her eyes as she pulled back enough to scold me. “You’re about as subtle as a gun. We aren’t supposed to tell people for another month.”
I cocked a brow at her and canted my hips against hers, sandwiching my hand between us, up tight against my unborn babies. “No fuckin’ way I can keep this quiet that long.”
“The doctor said.”
“Got two kids, girl, think I know the drill. Nothin’s gonna happen to these babies, I won’t fuckin’ let it, so don’t you worry ’bout tellin’ the club too soon. They’re gonna re-fuckin’-joice, babe, and then they’re all gonna lay down their lives if they’ve gotta to keep these two little Garros safe, you hear me? ’Sides, ‘tis the season for all that. Thinkin’ it’s the perfect time to tell ’em.”
Somethin’ flashed so quick over her beautiful face, I almost missed it.
But I knew my girl the way a biker knew his Harley, the way a man knew how to grill meat and catch a ball. No, more. I knew Loulou Garro the way one soul knew another. It was intangible and intractable, one of those ways’a the universe no one ever knows how to give words to.
I knew ’er, so I knew that flash was fear.
And I couldn’t have any’a that.
Bent my knees to bring us closer to eye level, then pinched her chin to tip those skittish eyes to mine so I could pin the fear and kill it for her. “What’s goin’ on behind those blue eyes?”
She bit into her plush lower lip, but her eyes were so nervous, I couldn’t even enjoy the gesture. “What if they’re like me?” she whispered in a voice like smoke, tenuous and dissipating. “What if they get sick?”